Author Topic: Advice for a low cost music recording and editing platform needed.  (Read 378 times)

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Offline DarrellW

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I desperately need to be able to go into proper processing of the stuff I'm trying to do!!!
My 2 problems are lack of funds and not much room, this is dictating to me a refurbished laptop with a maximum price of £200.
For this locally I can get a Core i5 3rd gen with 8Gb of ram or an older core i7 with 8Gb ram but not with SSD. Is either going to be OK for use with Audacity? or would Garage band be easier for a beginner? I don't really want to pay for software yet in case it turns out to be too challenging for my old head!!!
My amp will transfer files direct to the computer so I don't need an interface (I think).
TIA.
Acoustic: Freshman Apollo 4OC, 1970 Terada G703 classical.
Electric: Squire Classic Vibe 50's Tele; Vintage V6 reissued Strat.
Amp: Blackstar ID Core Beam. FX: Electro harmonix 720 Looper, Zoom 505 II, Bespeco Volume pedal

Offline Curtis Suter

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Re: Advice for a low cost music recording and editing platform needed.
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2017, 12:23:13 pm »
Check out the Free version of Tracktion, I believe it is version 5.
Very capable and no limitations.

Curtis

Offline DavidP

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Re: Advice for a low cost music recording and editing platform needed.
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2017, 01:19:24 pm »
Darrell,

The first couple of recordings I made I used Audacity on a laptop, which was a dual core i5 with only 4GB RAM.  I recorded directly via a USB mic.  I recorded the guitar first and then played it back through headphone and over-dubbed the vocal.  That seemed to work OK.  But didn't use any of the available plug-ins, effects etc, so no idea how much processing that would need.

A quick look at the Audacity system requirements support this.  In fact, could run on less RAM.  You also need to check CPU clock speed.  Site recommends 2GHz, which is my laptop spec.  And I guess if it is a 64bit machine, so much the better.

Based on all this, looks like you should be fine.

You'd need to check file formats from your amp with the Audacity feature list to confirm that it can import.  And if not directly I imagine you'll easily be able to convert the file to wav which Audacity can read.

Good luck ...

Cheers
David

Offline DarrellW

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Acoustic: Freshman Apollo 4OC, 1970 Terada G703 classical.
Electric: Squire Classic Vibe 50's Tele; Vintage V6 reissued Strat.
Amp: Blackstar ID Core Beam. FX: Electro harmonix 720 Looper, Zoom 505 II, Bespeco Volume pedal

Offline Sweed77

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Re: Advice for a low cost music recording and editing platform needed.
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2017, 02:44:36 pm »
Reaper is free to try before you buy and is about as good as it gets.  After 30 days (I think) you will get a "nag" message upon starting it that it is time to buy but you can still use it.  I'm not advocating using it for free forever but it at least would give you a full version to look over (for as long as you like) before deciding to buy.  If you decide to buy at $60 it is as reasonable as it gets for all that it can do, and it can do almost anything.  There are tons of tutorial videos on youtube to help you learn with easy steps. 

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Offline Majik

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Re: Advice for a low cost music recording and editing platform needed.
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2017, 03:12:55 pm »
Regarding laptop CPUs, both of the above should be fine for basic recording.

However, it's important to realise that if you are considering more than basic track-at-a-time recording, a higher-spec processor is not necessarily better for real-time audio work.

See What is the CPU and how does it relate to Audio Production for more info.

To understand which of these is going to be better for you, you really need to know the specific CPU model number and clock frequency.

Also, the speed of memory is important. A lot of manufacturers put a faster processor into their systems to make the specification look good, but then use slow memory, which means it can actually run slower than a system with a lower specification processor.

You say "My amp will transfer files direct to the computer", but I suspect that's really the wrong terminology. If you are talking about a USB recording interface, then you are talking about real-time audio streaming from the amp across USB rather than transferring files, in which case file formats are not relevent. You normally just need the correct audio driver for the device.

EDIT: I see you are using the Blackstar ID Core Beam. I checked the manual for this:

"Standard audio drivers are used to connect the amplifier to a Windows PC or Mac.
No specific drivers are required. "


In other words, it should be plug'n'play.

"The amplifier will appear as an audio capture device within recording software."

Cheers,

Keith
Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX
Amps: Bugera G5 Head, Boss Katana 100
All sorts of other stuff.

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Advice for a low cost music recording and editing platform needed.
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2017, 05:00:35 pm »
Thanks Keith, I guessed it wouldn't be that simple so I've looked in the manufacturer specs for those machines and it looks like the i5's are the better option. They have better benchmark figures and faster ram than the i7.
Acoustic: Freshman Apollo 4OC, 1970 Terada G703 classical.
Electric: Squire Classic Vibe 50's Tele; Vintage V6 reissued Strat.
Amp: Blackstar ID Core Beam. FX: Electro harmonix 720 Looper, Zoom 505 II, Bespeco Volume pedal

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Advice for a low cost music recording and editing platform needed.
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2017, 09:29:44 pm »
Well so I got a Dell i5 3rd gen with 8Gb ram and a 128Gb SSD I'm going to add a 1 or 2Tb USB HDD for storage and now for the software; I'm thinking to try Audacity to start with unless there is something easier to use.
I've got a project to have a go at, my daughter is a singer and a big fan of No doubt and Gwen Steffani and would like to have a go at 'Don't speak' with me - so watch this space; I'm up for the challenge ;)
Acoustic: Freshman Apollo 4OC, 1970 Terada G703 classical.
Electric: Squire Classic Vibe 50's Tele; Vintage V6 reissued Strat.
Amp: Blackstar ID Core Beam. FX: Electro harmonix 720 Looper, Zoom 505 II, Bespeco Volume pedal

Offline TB-AV

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Re: Advice for a low cost music recording and editing platform needed.
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2017, 11:42:35 pm »
I would skip audacity.

Reaper - free
Traction - free
Mixbus32 - low cost - if interested in this, sign up to their site, they will send you a discount in less than two weeks.
ProTools First - free

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Offline Majik

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Re: Advice for a low cost music recording and editing platform needed.
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2017, 12:18:21 am »
I would skip audacity.

Agreed. It's OK for simple recordings but it's somewhat clunky and limited for multitrack.

It's certainly not a proper DAW.

Quote
Reaper - free
I thought this was only free for a limited trial period. Although after that it costs something fairly low, like $60.

Quote
Traction - free
I believe only the older versions, usually 2 major versions in the past. Current version is V7, so you can get V5 free. Despite being "out of date", it's probably good enough and certainly better than Audacity.

Quote
Mixbus32 - low cost - if interested in this, sign up to their site, they will send you a discount in less than two weeks.

Mixbus is low cost ($79) but Mixbus32C is the premium product and costs $299 before discount.

Mixbus 32C is a professional standard DAW and it really is wasted unless you have a lot of tracks to mix, and a powerful PC with a large screen.

The latest version of Ardour now works on Windows. This costs $45 to download (you can actually pay as little as $1, but you won't get updates so you might get stuck with a buggy version). Of course, Ardour is the Open Source project that was behind Mixbus. The advantage of Ardour is it's low cost, but it's the premium version so there won't be any restrictions or nagware, and it's a major version ahead of Mixbus.

Note that mixbus and Ardour come from the same codebase, but aren't quite the same. Certainly Mixbus 32C gives you some Harrison-exclusive "special-sauce" you don't get with Ardour mainly in the form of built-in analogue-emulated EQ and compression on each bus which, apparently, makes it sound much more like a classic analogue console.

Also, a lot of audio interfaces with a free version of Cubase or Ableton.

Cheers,

Keith
Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX
Amps: Bugera G5 Head, Boss Katana 100
All sorts of other stuff.

 

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